Shirkey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the Shirkey family in Ireland was O Searcaigh, which is derived from the word "searcach," which means "loving."

Early Origins of the Shirkey family

The surname Shirkey was first found in Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, where they were established in ancient times.

Early History of the Shirkey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shirkey research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 157 and 1578 are included under the topic Early Shirkey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shirkey Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Shirkey were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Sharkey, O'Sharkey, Sharket, O'Serky, O'Sherkott, Sherkott, O'Sergoid and many more.

Early Notables of the Shirkey family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Shirkey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Shirkey family

A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Shirkey or a variant listed above: Peter Sharkey, who sailed to Virginia in 1649; George Sharkey was living in Maryland at the end of the 18th century, Barnard Sharkey sailed to Philadelphia in 1811.


Contemporary Notables of the name Shirkey (post 1700) +

  • Robert J. Shirkey, American Air Force 1st Lieutenant stationed at the Roswell Army Air field, eyewitness and author to the "Roswell Incident"
  • Joshua Shirkey, American Class Adviser & Associate Faculty at New York University
  • Heather Shirkey (b. 1969), American Photoshop and retouching expert, known for her work in Something Ventured (2011), Ballets Russes (2005)
  • John Shirkey, American actor, known for his work in World of Art (2014)
  • Sarah Shirkey, American actress, known for her work in Kibbles N' Hits (2014), Searching for Venice (2015) and Rebirth (2013)
  • Mike Shirkey, American politician, Michigan State Senator (2014-), former Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
  • Mike Shirkey, American Republican politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives 65th District; Elected 2012 [1]
  • Ronald Shirkey QC, LL.B, Canadian lawyer, founder of Shirkey & Company, Regina, Saskatchewan


The Shirkey Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Redit expectata diu
Motto Translation: The expected returns for a long time


  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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